1 November 1955

The Vietnam War starts

The Vietnam War was a long, costly and divisive conflict that pitted the communist government of North Vietnam against South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. The conflict was intensified by the ongoing Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. More than 3 million people  were killed in the Vietnam War, and more than half of the dead were Vietnamese civilians. Opposition to the war in the United States bitterly divided Americans, even after President Richard Nixon ordered the withdrawal of U.S. forces in 1973. Communist forces ended the war by seizing control of South Vietnam in 1975, and the country was unified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam the following year.

Vietnam, a nation in Southeast Asia on the eastern edge of the Indochinese peninsula, had been under French colonial rule since the 19th century.

During World War II, Japanese forces invaded Vietnam. To fight off both Japanese occupiers and the French colonial administration, political leader Ho Chi Minh—inspired by Chinese and Soviet communism—formed the Viet Minh, or the League for the Independence of Vietnam.

1 November 1955

The Vietnam War starts.

VNWarMontage

The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, and known in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America or simply the American War, was a war that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was officially fought between North Vietnam and the government of South Vietnam. The North Vietnamese army was supported by the Soviet Union, China and other communist allies and the South Vietnamese army was supported by the United States, South Korea, Australia, Thailand and other anti-communist allies. The war is therefore considered a Cold War-era proxy war.

The Viet Cong also known as the National Liberation Front, a South Vietnamese communist common front aided by the North, fought a guerrilla war against anti-communist forces in the region, while the People’s Army of Vietnam, also known as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), engaged in more conventional warfare, at times committing large units to battle. As the war continued, the military actions of the Viet Cong decreased as the role and engagement of the NVA grew. U.S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces, artillery, and airstrikes. In the course of the war, the U.S. conducted a large-scale strategic bombing campaign against North Vietnam.

1 November 1951

buster-jangle-explosion
1000’s of American soldiers are exposed to the ‘Desert Rock’ atomic explosions for training purposes in Nevada.

Desert Rock was the code name of a series of exercises conducted by the US military in conjunction with atmospheric nuclear tests. They were carried out at the Nevada Proving Grounds between 1951 and 1957. Their purpose was to train troops and gain knowledge of military maneuvers and operations on the nuclear battlefield. They included observer programs, tactical maneuvers, and damage effects tests. From 16 July 1945 through 1946, about 1,000 military and civilian personnel took part in Project TRINITY or visited the test site. All participants, civilian as well as military, were under the authority of the MED. Project activities included scientific studies. Military exercises were not conducted at TRINITY.

Before the detonation, civilian and military scientists and technicians, assisted by other military personnel, placed gauges, detectors, and other instruments around ground zero. An evacuation detachment consisting of 144 to 160 enlisted men and officers was established in case protective measures or evacuation of civilians living offsite became necessary. Such action was not deemed necessary, however, and the evacuation detachment was dismissed late on the day of the detonation for return to Los Alamos.A substantial amount of activity took place at the test site during the first 3 days following the detonation, as scientists entered the ground zero area to retrieve instruments or to perform experiments.